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Jackson Chamber hosts Town Hall Meeting with state legislators

JACKSON, Tenn. (WNBJ) - State legislators and the Jackson Chamber of Commerce hosted a town hall meeting this morning to discuss new legislation and some new developments happening in west Tennessee.

“I don’t know when I’ve ever been more excited about the possibilities that we are on the forefront of right now,” said Chris Todd, the State Representative for District 73 (R).

Two state representatives and one of the state senators spoke at the Town Hall Meeting this morning about growth for the region.

“Let me tell you, right now west Tennessee is the hot spot, it’s a hot spot," said Johnny Shaw, the State Representative for District 8 (D).

“This will affect positively west Tennessee for generations to come,” said Ed Jackson, the State Senator with District 25 (R).

“We are looking at an increased amount of tourism with Great Wolf Lodge. With the Middle-Fork Bottom project and so many other things that are going on around west Tennessee. Now that we are inviting so many other people to live in our communities. With the Blue Oval City and all the tear 1 and tear 2 support businesses that will generate folks staying here first in foremost. Our kids are going to have something they can genuinely stay here for really high-paying jobs and a great quality of life,” said Chris Todd, the State Representative for District 73 (R).

The legislators also spoke about the implementation of the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement, also known as TISA.

“The governor has proposed several more dollars for this new program for our children. Which I think is a great thing, our children certainly need that. It will take effect in the next budget cycle, where the money will follow the child. If the child starts at one public school or a public charter school and drops out because he or she or the parent doesn’t like it. Then the money will follow that child to the next school,” said Johnny Shaw, the State Representative for District 8 (D).

The TISA proposal will also ensure that when the state increases teachers' salaries that it will directly benefit teachers.

“In the budget, the governor put in the budget, which is good, 125 million dollars for teacher pay raises. In the past, teacher pay raises that had been put in the budget with the old BEP formula, that we used to have, the teachers wouldn’t get all of the pay raise that the state handled down. With this new formula, the teacher will be able to take advantage of all the pay raise that they are due,” said Ed Jackson, the State Senator with District 25 (R).

One person that attended the meeting talked about the importance of attending this kind of meeting and what he enjoyed most.

“One of the things I enjoyed was the availability of the different representatives that were here. A lot of times decisions are made and sometimes having the ability to connect with those decision-makers is really helpful,” said Lt. Mark Cancia, the Commanding Officer at Salvation Army.

The Jackson Chamber of Commerce will host another Town Hall Meeting on Friday, March 25 at 8:30 a.m.

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